Statement from Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Regarding Airport Name

The Airport Authority is pleased to see the public’s passion for the airport in response to the Authority’s vote on December 19th to change the name.

The Authority would like to emphasize that the vote to change the name of the airport authorized staff to begin the rebranding process, including hiring a professional branding firm to develop a new brand. That process is expected to take several months.

During this phase of the process, the Authority is open to alternative suggestions that support a geographical identity for the airport. Until the process is completed, all references to the airport, including signage, will remain unchanged.  The “GSO” code will not change.

The Authority’s decision to change the name of the airport was driven by a desire to bring more jobs to the region and ultimately more flights. Economic development is one of the airport’s primary missions. Currently, the aerospace companies based at the airport campus would collectively be the eighth largest employer on the Triad Business Journal’s Book of Lists. Our goal is to lead that list. The average wage for the 5,000 plus employees on the airport campus is 33 percent higher than the region’s average household income. So these are not just jobs, but VERY GOOD jobs. The public may not have a view into international activities at the airport, but Customs and Border Patrol estimate that they clear approximately 300 international arrivals annually at the airport.

Geographical branding is critical to the economic development part of the airport’s mission. The airport is being marketed globally to aerospace manufacturers, maintenance companies, and other major employers. We have learned that even after 30 years of marketing, the Piedmont Triad brand is not well recognized outside this region. The airport needs a brand that capitalizes on North Carolina’s positive image and the airport’s central location.

The Authority recognizes the public also has strong opinions on the airport’s name. The Authority appreciates the public response and will consider public input as we move forward with the help of professionals during the branding process.